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New Law Makes Sidewalk Traveling Easier During Construction

By Pat Loeb and Alexandria Hoff

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Relief may be in sight for Philadelphia pedestrians.

City council passed into law a bill that will require replacement walkways when a construction project takes out a sidewalk.

Councilwoman Helen Gym’s bill toughens current, often flouted, regulations that permits to build over sidewalks have to include plans to cover them, so they can still be used, or add a walkway protected from traffic.

She says very welcome new construction in the city can’t come at the risk of pedestrian safety.

“The city is really invested in making sure there’s a clear pathway for anyone who’s biking, walking, in a stroller or wheelchair,” Gym said.

Construction is a good sign of a growing city, but being forced to walk alongside traffic because of closed sidewalks is something even Mayor Kenney deals with.

“I had stuff on both sides of the street. I mean what do you do? You’ll be walking down the street like this zig zag motion,” the mayor says. “We are happy for all of the development we are getting but there are ways of doing it that are not chaotic.”

Council also approved switching payroll banks from the troubled Wells Fargo to Citizens, though a number of speakers advocated the city’s creating its own local bank, and it approved creation of a special “hotel business district” to attract big events to the city.

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